Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, ensuring your piano remains in tip-top condition is key to making yours honestly sound halfway decent.
However, there’s more to maintenance than fine-tuning alone. From storing your piano in the correct conditions to cleaning the exterior to checking the inner workings, there are many top tips you can adhere to.
Following these will preserve the condition and sound of your instrument for years to come.
Enlist in the Help of an Expert
Although the majority of piano maintenance can be carried out by yours truly, enlisting the help of a tuning specialist at least once a year is perhaps one of the most critical maintenance rules to abide by. This is irrespective of whether you’re a newbie, learning how to play the piano, or have been playing professionally for many years.
Over time, piano strings can stretch, which causes them to loosen, which affects the pitch, making it sound slightly off. This can make a huge difference to how the piano sounds.
A specialist tuner is a dab hand at quickly and easily pinpointing any notes that are out of tune, allowing them to make the required adjustments. The result? Your piano will sound its best!
Choose the Correct Environment for your Piano
When thinking of where to place your piano, it’s key to consider temperature and humidity levels. Why? A certain number of piano components are made of metal and wood, and both materials are sensitive to temperature and humidity changes.
This is why displaying your instrument in a room with a consistent temperature and humidity level is important. Doing so will help to prevent the piano’s soundboard from altering in size, which is a key cause of poor tuning.
Furthermore, a room that is too cold or too hot can alter the shape of the piano, causing the wood to warp and the glue to weaken. This can be a costly problem to fix!
The perfect environment for a piano boasts a 70-degree Fahrenheit temperature and a 50% humidity level.
Never Move Your Piano by Yourself
Instead of attempting to move your piano to its desired location on your own, hire the help of a pro! These heavy, large, and unwieldy instruments are difficult to move at the best of times and to avoid damage, they require special handling and care.
Trying to move the instrument yourself will likely result in damage to the piano and your interior walls, floors, and doors. You may even become injured if you try to lift or push it in the wrong way.
Thankfully, professional piano moving services do exist and are very easy to get a hold of. All you need to do is to decide what room it is going in and where it is being transported from.
Piano movers employ trained professionals who will take all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your piano, irrespective of its size. In addition, they offer piano insurance, just in case something goes wrong.
Focus on the Exterior as well as The Interior.
Using a soft cloth, it’s a good idea to wipe down your piano’s exterior regularly. Why? Like most pieces of furniture, pianos collect dust, grime, and dirt. If you allow this dirt to accumulate in the instrument’s nooks and crannies, it will eventually find its way into the interior components.
One important point to remember? Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners, as this can affect the delicate finish of the wood, which can also affect the sound quality. A combination of mild soap and water works best.
Although it can be tempting to polish your piano, you should avoid wax polish at all costs, as this can dull the shine and cause the keys to stick.
Check the Strings for Rust
Although it can be enticing when checking for rust, avoid touching the piano strings at all costs! Our skin contains natural oils, which, when transferred to the strings, will cause corrosion and rust to form. This can lead to a weaker set of strings and, in the worst-case scenario, a break.
If your strings break, this can be an expensive repair, as it will often cause damage to the piano. To avoid this, simply check the strings regularly and pinpoint potential problems early on.
Clean, rust-free strings will ensure a beautiful, clear sound. Those covered in dirt and debris will have the opposite effect.
Clean Your Piano Keys
Over time, piano keys can become a victim of dust and grime, especially as our fingers contain natural oils. This affects the feel of your piano keys and your appearance.
To avoid this, clean your keys regularly using a mild soap and water solution with a soft cloth. For best results, avoid wiping the cloth side-to-side and use a front-to-back motion instead. This stops water from collecting between the keys.
Once the keys are clean, use a dry cloth to buff them to encourage shine.
The Bottom Note
Music is said to be beneficial to our health; it lessens anxiety and depression and heightens creativity. If you wish to embrace these benefits, preserving your instrument’s look and sound quality is key.
The following are a few simple tips that will help you ensure your piano remains in tip-top condition for years to come.
All it takes is a little time and effort, and the majority of creation can be carried out by yours truly, which means you have no excuse not to look after your musical companion.